Punch,  50 (1866), 260.

Caterpillars and Clowns



Reportage, Spoof


Lecturing, Natural History, Animal Behaviour, Agriculture, Cruelty

    A parody of the claim that birds (rather than insect vermin) are the most redoubtable agricultural pest. Reports a lecture by Professor Crammer to the members of the 'Loutsfield Sparrow Club' on the 'Uses of Grubs and Caterpillars' and other vermin. He tells his rustic audience that insects did not feed on 'cereal or other horticultural produce' but on weeds, 'injurious elements in the earth at the roots of corn', and 'the smut and ergot that infested the crops of wheat and corn'. Concludes that insects are actually a 'boon to the agriculturist', and advocates the destruction of sparrows, finches, and other birds that damage and consume 'grain and other produce'. Suggests that boys be encouraged to shoot them and describes the culinary uses of these birds. Concludes by toasting caterpillars.

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